Featured Content: Frank Ticheli’s “Blue Shades”

Featured Content: Frank Ticheli’s “Blue Shades”

This month the spotlight is on Frank Ticheli’s “Blue Shades,” a medium-advanced piece for concert band, now available in SmartMusic. Widely regarded as one of the very best by one of the very best, “Blue Shades” combines Mr. Ticheli’s own unique voice with the influence of traditional jazz and blues music he heard in his childhood near New Orleans, Louisiana.

Tips for Improved Brass Fundamentals and Sound Practice

Marie Speziale's Tips for Improved Brass Fundamentals and Sound Practice

Editor’s note: As many of you know, Marie Speziale was the first female trumpet player to play in a major symphony orchestra. In honor of the Midwest Clinic’s 70th Anniversary in 2016, she was invited to present a masterclass in Chicago last December. Below are some highlights from that masterclass, parts of which previously appeared in an article in The Woman Conductor.

Approaches to Score Study and Interpretation

Approaches to Score Study and Interpretation

Of the many responsibilities for the conductor, none is greater than that of score study and interpretation. The score must be internalized so that one can follow the adage: “The conductor should have the score in their head, not their head in the score.”

One important goal of score study is to develop an intellectual, emotional and visceral sense of the music.

Stand Life Comic Strip #008

silence when you step on the podium

There are other Stand Life strips, too.
Check out: “Differentiated Instruction,” “Tuning with Drones,” “Instrument Fitting Day,” “The Cloud,” “Weather Report,” “On Dr. Beat’s Couch,” and “Cell Phone Ban.”

10 Strategies for First-Year Music Educators

10 Strategies for First-Year Music Educators

The profession of a music educator is diverse and unique. There are many different facets to our jobs and not enough time to learn everything before we step into a classroom. Since I began my teaching career, I have learned several approaches along the way that I wish I had known before my first day on the job.

Stand Life Comic Strip #007

Stand Life comic - Cell Phone Ban

There are other Stand Life strips, too.
Check out: “Differentiated Instruction,” “Tuning with Drones,” “Instrument Fitting Day,” “The Cloud,” “Weather Report,” “On Dr. Beat’s Couch,” and “Silence.”



Featured Content: New Releases and Superhero Theme Music

Featured Content: New Releases and Superhero Theme Music

We’ve added 29 new ensemble titles to the SmartMusic Repertoire Library. Included are new pieces for choir, concert band, jazz band and string orchestra. View the complete list here.  But wait, there’s more.

Summer is Coming!

Summer break is right around the corner. Now is a great time to brainstorm strategies to keep kids practicing over summer break.

Empowering the Fourth Finger in Beginning String Instruction

Empowering the Fourth Finger in Beginning String Instruction

Do your students seem to find a thousand creative ways to thwart your attempts to get them to use their fourth finger? Do you often wish that your violin and viola students would play with a better left wrist position without you having to constantly remind them? Many of us have gone to great lengths to encourage students to play with a straight wrist.

Honoring National Teacher Day: Connor Jenks and Jamie Clark

Honoring National Teacher Day: Connor Jenks and Jamie Clark

Today, on National Teacher Day, we recognize the contribution that music teachers make in our lives and world. The students you work with today will go on to accomplish great things, and your influence will be a big factor in their success.

Every so often, a student gets an opportunity to show a teacher how much their work has made a difference.